This past week we’ve enjoyed a visit from family — my two siblings, sister-in-law, niece, father and father-in-law, a family reunion with five of my dad’s six siblings to celebrate my uncle’s retirement from the Navy, and my son’s third birthday party. Of course, food is always the focal point of our (semi-)Italian family’s gatherings, and while we may not have had an entirely local meal, we had local ingredients in every meal.
The night my family arrived we ate at my aunt & uncle’s, enjoying the fruits of their garden while the cousins admired their chicken tree and beehives. First thing Saturday morning, the boy and I cooked up black & blueberry muffins, made with Pequea Valley yogurt, for breakfast before taking the fam to the market. The boy led his cousin straight to Vera’s for fresh-squeezed orange juice before introducing her to Tom the Cheese Guy (aka Mr. Tom) and sharing his slice of cheese.
At the family pool party we had a salad grown in my aunt & uncle’s garden, corn on the cob we brought from Three Way Farm, and a peach cobbler that my brother and sister-in-law prepared with Toigo peaches. The same brother and sister-in-law brought some home-grown cherry tomatoes from their Alabama garden, which we snacked on like candy over the weekend. Cherry tomatoes and Tom’s horseradish cheddar made a spicy version of the typical tomato-basil-mozzarella salad to enliven a take-out meal after the birthday party. And my son’s birthday cake, with its Swiss meringue buttercream, made good use of our local cage-free eggs.
To top it all off, my brother and sister-in-law brought a basket full of jams and salsas, put up themselves, a set of organic yogurt starters and the Local Flavors cookbook as my birthday present. Can you imagine anything more appropriate? (Thanks J & H!)
One Local Summer is an annual challenge in which people around the world join together for 13 weeks of seasonal eating, supporting local farmers and exploring their local foodsheds. Visit FarmtoPhilly on Tuesdays for the weekly round-up; here’s what my neighbors in the Southern region cooked up this week.